The conflict between the current law and new business models such as Uber is a theme I have returned to many times but this is because the litigation just keeps coming.
In particular, it appears as though more and more individuals will now be joining the claims submitted to the Employment Tribunal seeking additional rights such as paid holiday.
As an employment lawyer I am obviously not adverse to a little litigation. Indeed it keeps me in a job! However, I do have a nagging feeling that these sorts of claims even if successful will eventually be counter productive. In particular, at least one of the main reasons a large proportion of people work for businesses like Uber is the flexibility. As a self-employed individual if you don't want to work a certain day or at a certain time you don't have to. You have complete freedom to decide. Surely the flip side is accepting such freedom comes at the cost of the types of benefits enjoyed by employees and workers.
Certainly if the current business model is destroyed under the weight of litigation or granting these rights Uber will have to recover the margin elsewhere or potentially go out of business. Where does that then leave the drivers? Going back to the old models of working which are increasingly being abandoned by the public, or joining any new players on the scene which presumably will also have models open to question.
Of course, I have complete sympathy with any individual who is exploited by an unscrupulous company which is abusing the system. For example, by demanding flexibility which suits them but without permitting the individual any in return (I don't think this is the case here).
Ultimately no one is forcing these individuals to work for Uber and if they want more security but without compromising on the flexibility, it may be better to go elsewhere. Otherwise they may ruin things for those who find this way of working is exactly what they need. Parallels can also be drawn with the debate on the use of zero hour contracts. So long as they are not abused it is a simple fact they work perfectly for some people.
Uber drivers consider legal action More than 100 drivers for app-based taxi company Uber are looking to take action over their rights, lawyers have told the Victoria Derbyshire programme.The legal action is aiming to establish the drivers with worker status, rather than as self-employed customers or partners - which is how Uber sees them. By Jim Reed Reporter, Victoria Derbyshire programme From the section Business Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Uber says it "seamlessly connects riders to drivers"